Solar water heating systems use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable
The benefits of solar water heating
Hot water throughout the year: the system works all year round, though you’ll need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months.
Cut your bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced.
Cut your carbon footprint: solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
How do solar water heating systems work?
Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back up to heat the water further to reach the temperature you want.
There are two types of solar water heating panels:
Evacuated solar tubes
An alternative solar heating system which are designed and developed especially for Northern European countries.
These premium solar heating tubes use solar radiation (a true green energy source) to heat water and could also heat swimming pools.
Consists of an absorber, a transparent cover, a frame, and insulation. Usually an iron-poor solar safety glass is used as a transparent cover, as it transmits a great amount of the short-wave light spectrum.
Larger solar panels can also be arranged to provide some contribution to heating your home as well.
However, the amount of heat provided is generally very small and it is not normally considered worth while.